After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (Jn 19:38-42)
Here at the end we meet two disciples that haven’t been around much. Nicodemus we know. He likes Jesus, but stays at arm’s length. He does defend him in the Sanhedrin. But he comes by night, and he leaves by night. Now in the end, when Christ is dead, he comes with 75 pounds worth of myrrh and aloes, more than enough to prepare Christ’s body for burial. Now he will do for Jesus in death what he was afraid to do when Jesus was alive. He makes a confession with his pocket book.
Joseph of Arimathea, we know from other gospels that he was rich. Nothing much more. He too shows up now, at the end.
I always wonder about people like this. How many are there? Do they have faith? Is it just weak? Answers we will never know. For Joseph and Nicodemus they had more opportunity when Jesus rose from the dead to become believers, true disciples and members of the church. It is hard for me to conceive of a scenario where they don’t. But others? Today? Well today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to make your confession.